Networking is one of the most talked about terms in this modernity that we live in and, therefore, we know that you need to know how to network . Therefore, we will begin by sharing with you the meaning of networking and once this task is completed, we will give you some examples and tips on how to do effective networking.
We anticipate that this strategy is nothing more than cultivating your network of contacts, but not just any network, but one that serves as support and push to make your business known. Do you want to know how you can bet on the idea of effective networking? Keep reading us!
What is networking?
Networking is a business contact network that makes it possible to take advantage of a certain space and time to meet people who can contribute to your learning in working life. Simple isn’t it? In other words, this behavior allows you to meet professional people to foster profitable relationships for your current and future projects.
Networking is a very common practice in the business and entrepreneurial world . The word originates from the union of net , which means network, and working , which means working. The term refers to events in which you can build a network of work contacts, which will help you generate both business and job opportunities.
Many business owners opt to use free business card templates because they are versatile and can be adapted to different types of businesses. Some free templates come with a geometric accent that provides a fun and abstract look to the cards. While others are more classic and have a clean composition corporate free business card templates can come with amazing colors and have a more formal vibe. You may use any of the aforementioned to create a new, professional-looking card.
But what is the idea behind this concept? Networking groups aim to connect ideas with channels for them to materialize. For example, this is the case of entrepreneurs who have an innovative idea and need investors to get their business proposal off the ground.
Where to network
Let’s go little by little: it is clear that to know how to network, the first thing will be to identify those spaces where it is possible to carry out networking activities .
It is evident that to make a contact network it is necessary to have time, but do not worry, that is why it is recommended to merge face-to-face practice with online practice in social networks.
Thus, it will be possible to ensure a continuous presence in the conversation that is generated or in the news that occurs in your sector. Let’s see how it is possible to carry out these two ways of doing business networking.
They are all those face-to-face events where you can meet people related to business and the workplace. For example:
- Events, congresses and fairs of the sector
- Conferences, seminars and conferences
- Work meetings
- Sport clubs
- Gatherings of friends and acquaintances
- coworking spaces
The objective is, of course, to meet potential investors, business partners , prospects or mentors who are aligned with our objectives. Only, in this case, the interaction occurs through social networks . This modality will help you make a first contact more easily. Get to know the 5 apps that will help you in your question of how to do good networking :
LinkedIn is currently the most popular networking app in the world . It has 560 million users, and a pseudo monopoly among companies. For companies, LinkedIn offers the possibility of executing Inbound Marketing and Employee Branding strategies, as well as expanding the client portfolio .
Shapr is the translation of the concept of Tinder to networking. It consists of a system of sliding personal cards that work as identifiers to make a ” match ” between different users. This platform requires entering a series of basic data of interest before starting to use it, in order to only show the contacts that are of interest on a professional level.
Bizzabo offers facilities for users to connect with other users with similar interests. In addition, it offers a segmentation impossible to find in any other similar platform. How to network with Bizzabo? Easy! Your profile is populated from your LinkedIn account. And from there, the app offers you information about events that may be of interest and that are close to you.
Ripple is an app that belongs to the creators of Tinder. How to get dates or how to network ? The app allows you to establish professional relationships in a way that makes your life easier. Its operation is similar to the dating app, in addition, you can also access a feed with news related to your interests.
This networking platform provides the opportunity to connect users in real life in groups united by a common interest. Meetup also allows you to sign up for conferences and webinars completely free of charge, although conditioned by the colorful interface and the “drag and drop” elements chosen by the developers.
How to network: follow these tips!
Networking is more than increasing a list of contacts, it is forming interpersonal relationships that last over time and that give you a high value in the workplace, professionally and personally. Thanks to that network of contacts it is possible. Do you want to know how to establish fruitful working relationships with specialists in the sector ? Next, we will give you tips for networking .
1. Create connections with interaction
This is no time to be shy, with a simple “hello” you can achieve goals you never imagined. You can devise strategies to break the ice , and if nothing comes to mind then smile, be approachable and friendly.
Also, ask open-ended questions, offer advice, and let them see that you’re interested in talking more. Wait for the right moment to present your work and your talents. Be friendly and authentic. Remember that making a good impression is a great place to start.
2. Use common spaces
Choose how you want to approach your new network of contacts, whether offline or online. If you decide to go offline (face-to-face) you have at your disposal the new trend of coworking , it is a space with multiple areas that will allow you to relate in a better way. You can choose a space to drink coffee, share ideas or tell anecdotes.
On the contrary, if you choose online networking you must maintain a good presence in social networks, in addition, join social network groups with the topic of your interest and profession. It’s important because you may meet helpful people that you didn’t originally plan to meet.
3. Attend events
Coworkings often host events geared toward connecting members of the community. And you should take advantage of this opportunity since events are a great alternative to grow in networking . These will allow you to learn about the projects of the attendees and present your own.
Make your own business cards to create retention among the participants and include messages in them that catch the reader and of course! Leave your contact information. You can leave key data about what you would contribute to the person you give it to.
4. Make your own event
Networking allows you to connect with potential clients, new partners or with people whose knowledge can feed your business. So, if you are still wondering how to network, you should know that creating your own events is the solution to your question.
This practice allows you to give your brand visibility to people who can benefit or benefit from it, but through relaxing, creative and fun activities. The objective of networking events is to expand your network of contacts, to get clients or meet potential partners.
5. Generate referrals
The most effective advertising is recommendations. It is important that those people you get at your events see that you are interested in a natural and professional relationship.
Have contact with them on a regular basis, invite them to coffee or lunch, have them present on designated dates, offer them any help they need. It is the way to retain them and that they speak highly of you. You must generate differential factors and likewise referential. Let people know what makes you different and share it with their relatives.
6. Create your Elevator Pitch
This anglicism refers to introducing yourself to another person in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It is the most challenging pitch of all, since its ideal time is between 45 seconds and one minute. This is the maximum time you have to persuade your future client or investor.
Develop a short, simple, concise, and relevant pitch that tells what you do, what’s new with your business or service, and how the other person can benefit from your services or a relationship with you.
Access to shared knowledge is one of the advantages of working in a network environment . It’s about feedback. This environment is perfect to receive suggestions about your project or business.
Collaborating with knowledge and help to networkers can benefit you in the future. Networking is about creating a one-way relationship .
8. Promote your business
Promote your services and set your goals and the time in which you want to meet them. For example with these three actions:
- Increase your network of professional contacts by 40% in one year.
- Attend at least one networking event every month.
- Generate 2 quality contacts (for both parties) weekly in the remainder of the year
9. Convey reciprocity
A good way to empathize with the people we are interested in is to ask them for advice on certain topics or projects. Remember that empathy is the best weapon to see the fruits of your efforts. It is important to take the recommendations of those around you since they feel valued and you also make them part of your business.
Networking relationships are based on do ut des (“I give so you can give”). In other words, social relations of reciprocity. You also offer advice, dictate workshops, webinars; promote the benefit of belonging to your network of contacts.
10. Enjoy the process
This step doesn’t require much explanation, you can start by permanently removing that concern of how to network. In this way, you will begin to execute the actions that will lead to successful and efficient networking .
Enjoy it! Don’t just do it out of interest. In this network, quality is worth more than quantity. The goal is not to have as many contacts as possible, but to maintain genuine relationships. All human relationships need to be cultivated so that they grow and become stronger. To have a lasting network of contacts you must be persistent and invest your time in them.
Networking errors: what should you not do?
If you’ve thought about how to network, have you taken the time to think about what you shouldn’t do or those mistakes you can’t make? Don’t worry, we’ll help you with that. Check this list of behaviors you should avoid when networking :
- Do not keep in touch: Remember that you must cultivate relationships and after starting you must not abandon them. But the key to generating a sense of presence is to maintain that contact with small actions that can be as simple as generating conversation.
- Teasing when someone is focused on work: Be very careful and don’t demand answers at inappropriate times. Be friendly and always ask if they have a moment to talk to you.
- Expect something in return: The steps to follow in networking are: get to know, like, build trust and, finally, carry out the transaction. Manage your time without being rude to others just as you respect theirs. Be patient.
- Not being prepared: Since you are going to have to improvise, prepare as much as possible. In this way you will reduce unforeseen events and you will have convincing and quality information for your listeners.
- Not following up on contacts: What’s the point of attending a networking event if you don’t follow up afterwards? It is important that you maintain contact with the professionals with whom you have started conversations. Just a first contact is not enough.
Networking is a fundamental activity for professional and personal growth, because in these times it is essential to be a carrier of knowledge, innovative ideas and premises that are committed to profitable businesses .
Working in our network of contacts goes far beyond a 5-minute conversation with another professional. We must be constant in our relationships. A valuable relationship could be very productive to boost your project or business. In this way, you will be able to get a job, achieve a promotion, improve your work or business situation. But you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone and offer your help without interest.